• Kristen Balisi

Rethinking Resolutions

Guess what! The New Year is upon us, and with it, the opportunity to reflect upon changes we want to make in our lives and commit to during the year ahead. However, just how effective are New Year’s resolutions? In truth, sometimes setting resolutions is not enough, and instead, experts recommend setting intentions. Why, you ask? Well, below, we’ll find out why setting intentions can not only turn your year around for the better but turn your around life too:


It may come as a surprise, but studies have shown that a mere 8% of people accomplish and stick to their New Year’s resolutions. Now, although the statistics on how many people successfully follow through and achieve their New Year’s resolutions may seem grim, using intentions can make all the difference.


But first, what is the difference between resolutions and intentions?


Resolutions are specific goals that are firm and fixed. They are statements that revolve around things we wish to change about ourselves or our lifestyles. All in all, we typically form resolutions when we feel something is lacking in our lives. When we do not attain these goals, it is easy to deem our efforts, or to an extent, ourselves, a “failure,” causing feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and shame to take root. As seen, more often than not, resolutions tend to trigger us into dwelling on negative thoughts about our present situation and who we are as a person.



On the contrary, an intention involves setting our attention towards a goal. It is a mindset, an attitude, and the tone or the quality we choose to embody. Overall, it is a guiding principle for how we want to be, live, and show up in the world. With intentions, the objective is to channel our energy towards what we want to achieve, rather than ruminating over the ways we might fall short. Yes, there will come times when we stray from our plan but instead of beating ourselves up over our mistakes, intentions are flexible and provide us with the space to readjust, recommit, and continue working on reaching our goal. Ultimately, intentions do not emphasize our faults. Instead, they motivate us to focus on our goals and all the possibilities we have for success.


Of course, resolutions can be a beneficial tool when seeking to meet our new year goals, but seeing as they provide little to no flexibility, they can bring about feelings of failure if we don’t meet them. The beauty of intentions is they are adaptable and allow us to approach our goals with more compassion for ourselves.


Key Takeaways:

  • Resolutions draw attention to the negative, while intentions highlight the positive.

  • Resolutions focus on what we lack, but intentions emphasize what we have.

  • Resolutions are rigid and strict. Intentions are flexible.

  • Resolutions often don’t last, but intentions do.


To give you a better idea, here are some examples of powerful intentions you can set for a happy and healthy new year:



Like many things, learning to write intentions takes practice. However, below are ten great questions to guide you:

  • What do I want to do in 2021?

  • What would I like to learn this year?

  • How do I want to make a difference in peoples’ lives?

  • What is one area of myself I would like to improve?

  • What is a challenge I want to overcome?

  • What am I most passionate about and want to do more?

  • In what ways do I plan on implementing self-care in my routine?

  • In what ways do I plan on getting out of my comfort zone?

  • What do I see in others that I would like to be too?

  • What do I need to become my most genuine, authentic self?


Once you have chosen an intention that suits you, create an action plan, and get specific on the strategies and steps that you want to take to achieve your goal. Next, organize and consider how you wish to incorporate your action steps into your daily routine. After you set out on your journey, using a journal is an excellent way to monitor your progress and hold yourself accountable. Additionally, by updating a journal daily, you can review your entries in the future and witness how far you’ve come.


In closing, go out, create change, and take action using intentions. The year is yours. What will you do with it?